The Onion launches a barrage of zingers at the radio show This American Life. It is a very funny article. All the zingers find their mark as the piece deflates the bombastic, precious excesses of TAL. Here’s my favorite part, a fictional quote from TAL producer Alex Blumberg:
“At first, we were getting a lot of stories from recovered drug addicts and East African refugees living in the States, which had their compelling elements but came off a bit cloying…But then we realized that if we had overeducated people with voices rather unsuitable for radio narrate the stories with clever analogies and accessible morals, the whole thing would come off far less depressing.”
I think TAL could benefit from a format more like To The Best of Our Knowledge. TTBOOK has the same structure of a few stories on a theme, but doesn’t explicitly spell out the connections between all the pieces. It prefers instead to show some restraint and let the listener make connections by him/herself.